01/18/2014 7:59PM

Santa Anita: Shakin It Up heads Baffert 1-2 in Strub Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Shakin It Up, with Mike Smith riding, wins the Strub Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – A multiple stakes winner as a 3-year-old sprinter in 2013, Shakin It Up may be best this year at a mile – or beyond.

Winning for the first time around two turns, Shakin It Up had an ideal trip under jockey Mike Smith to win Saturday’s $200,750 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita. In his only previous start around two turns, Shakin It Up was a well-beaten fourth in the Sunland Park Derby over 1 1/8 miles in New Mexico last March.

The Strub was the second consecutive stakes win for Shakin It Up, the surprise winner at 17-1 in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs Dec. 26.

Smith rode Shakin It Up for the first time in the Grade 2 Strub and said the colt left him confident throughout the race.

“The big question was the distance,” Smith said. “He did it once and didn’t do so well. He handled a mile and a sixteenth and can probably do a mile and an eighth. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.”

Shakin It Up ($8.20) was timed in 1:41.86. Govenor Charlie, who won the 2013 Sunland Park Derby, finished second.  The first two finishers are trained by Bob Baffert and co-owned by Mike Pegram. Pegram shares ownership in Shakin It Up with Dennis Cardoza. Pegram co-owns Govenor Charlie with Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.

Smith had Shakin It Up in third in the field of eight for the first six furlongs, chasing a pace of 23.98 and 47.06 seconds set by the 8-1 shot Heir of Storm. Govenor Charlie was second early and raced alongside Heir of Storm on the turn. Smith moved Shakin It Up closer to Heir of Storm at the end of the backstretch, hoping to stay in front of Hear the Ghost, the 7-5 favorite trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

“I was so happy with the way he broke,” Smith said. “In this type of race, there can be so-so speed. You can leave it too late. I was able to get a good position. I didn’t want Hollendorfer’s horse to get momentum.”

Shakin It Up led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and won by 2 1/4 lengths over Govenor Charlie. Hear the Ghost, who was fourth on the backstretch, finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Govenor Charlie.

Zeewat finished fourth, followed by Dice Flavor, Heir of Storm, Say Ow, and Rookie Sensation.

This was the first running of the Strub Stakes over 1 1/16 miles. The race had been run in recent years over 1 1/8 miles.

Shakin It Up has won 4 of 7 starts and earned $487,600. He has three stakes wins, all at Santa Anita. Last February, Shakin It Up won his stakes debut in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs for 3-year-olds.

Walter More than 1 year ago
Not sure why SA even runs a 4yo only race anymore? Since so many good horses don't run after 3, it's an antiquated race class. They should just make the Strub a 4yo & up. Most of these new 4yo horses have already faced elders. Since things have changed in racing, race classifications have to change also.
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
This horse is going to shake up the competition this year. I believe he will get 9-10 f comfortable. I will be keeping him on my short list.
artaxxx1 More than 1 year ago
Shakin it up looked like he could get a longer distance and it will be interesting to see where Baffert puts him. Could be a maturing monster whose should be able to get 1 1/4 mile distance. Governor Charlie also ran very respectable and gives Baffert another 4 year old who can make some benjamins this year. Watch out older horses these two are legit to quit.
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Very impressed by the winner, weak field but i can see the winner making some noise this year
Stephen Meola More than 1 year ago
SERICM The Strub Stakes quit being a serious race after 1997. It was a race in the 60's, 70's and 80;s that every one looked forward to for the newly turned 4 year olds to see how they could handle 10 furlongs. Round Table, Crimson Satan, Gun Bow, Ancient Title, Spectacular Bid, Precisionist, Affirmed etc., etc., etc. These were just some of the serious horses and the greats that won this race. Who can forget the Bids l:57.4. These were real horses that people looked forward to watching. A mile and a sixteenth isn't even worthy of calling this the Strub Stakes.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I was completely wrong about Shakin. Thought he was a sprinter, but he ran very well today. Loved how he easily kept pace when Charlie and Heir threw down consecutive 23 and change quarters after a slow first quarter. it was that internal half that Hear the Ghost couldn't keep up with. Shakin, with his sprinter speed, had little problem with those internals, cruised up to the lead in upper stretch, and won rather easily. It is still a big jump from here to running 10 furlongs vs. Dude, MMM, and WTC in the Big Cap(wouldn't it be great if all 3 keep to their schedules?), but Shakin has upside I didn't think he had. And Charlie ran a very encouraging race himself. For his first start in ten months, having been scratched from an allowance prep earlier in the meet, and washing out in the paddock before the Strub, one has to like how Charlie was able to pick up the tempo through the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and then fight on through the stretch. An excellent starting point for the season.
Mike Miller More than 1 year ago
What an absolute embarrassment for this formerly great race to be run at 1 1/16 miles. No wonder American racing is dying.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Not too long ago it was a 500k grade one at 10 furlongs. One of the things that saddened me about Game on Dude being totally overlooked in the Eclipse voting is that he ran in and won three grade 1 races at 10 furlongs. And he carried and conceded weight in two of them toting 125 and 127 lbs. Say what you will of the depth of the Cali handicap division the last few years, but Cali's series of 3 grade 1s at 10 furlongs makes it the single best series for older males in any one region. Instead of being rewarded, Dude finishes behind a turf miler and a horse with two wins all year in the voting for older male. For a more old school guy like myself, this voting sends the wrong message.
Steve More than 1 year ago
the class horses came to his home track and trashed him. Synthetic track grade 1s should not count the same. They rarely draw even the equivalent of grade 3 quality dirt horses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The synth critique only holds for the Pacific Classic among Dude's wins. Since moving to synth in 2007, the Pacific Classic has been won by turf horses in Go Between(08)' and Acclamation(11), and synth runners in Richard's Kid(09, 10)' and Dullahan(12). But the synth as a completely different variety of track, unique from dirt and turf argument doesn't hold for the Hollywood Gold Cup. The defunct Cushion Track of HP was widely judged the most dirt-like of all synth surfaces. Horses easily transferred form between the Hollywood Cushion and Santa Anita dirt, and the number of horses that broke their maiden at HP before going on to win major dirt races is too many to even start listing. And in the synth era, the Hollywood old Cup was won by proven dirt runners in 5 of the 7 years(Lava Man, Awesome Gem, First Dude, and Game on Dude twice) with Rail Trip,a horse who preferred synth but performed well in big dirt stakes, winning one of the other two. Anyways, Dude captured 3 of his 5 wins on dirt.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
stop with the GOD nonsense. he has proven who and what he is. he beats up on overmatched horses in races that set up for him. when he meets top horses he gets beaten. its simple. hes a good horse who has made a lot of money and deserves respect. but respect doesn't = an eclipse. truthfully, no one deserved HOTY this year.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The Eclipse awards are not simply about which horse is best. It is about accomplishment. To reduce Dude's entire year to one loss is to judge more harshly than typical. When Sky Beauty had to leave New York in 1994 for the BC Distaff and was again thrashed like she had been the year before, it didn't stop voters from making her the champion older female. People have different preferences. Obviously, my preference is in the minority. But I would quickly take a horse in Dude that won 5 graded stakes, 3 grade 1s all at 10 furlongs, won at 4 different tracks, on the West and the East, on dirt and synth, conceded weight to every other horse in the field in 4 of his wins and his head defeat in the Clark, and ran only one poor race over horse in MMM who won 2 races total out of 5 starts, won over one track within a 5 week period, won in Cali only, was eased in an ungraded stakes and was a non-threatening 3rd in another ungraded stakes, received 5 lbs from Jeranimo and a pound from Summer Hit in the Awesome Again, was never
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Continuing... and a horse in MMM that was never the sole highweight in any of his races, even in the ungraded races. And Wise Dan, while deserving of turf male and HoY, should not have been a serious candidate for champion older male. Evidently, the majority of voters weigh the Breeders Cup much more than I do and place much less emphasis on a horse's body of work the entire year, and feel unrestricted by history that requires special circumstances to vote a horse with zero main track victories the older male Eclipse. But I will grant your request to stop making Dude's case. The vote is done, Dude was decisively outpolled, and there is nothing to be done about it now.
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Game on dude sucks, he hasnt beaten any good horse. He preys on allowance fields running in stakes races in california.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
so true. the two best horse races I have ever seen were the easy goer- sunday silence Preakness and the Ferdinand- snow chief strub. the strub actually used to mean something back then. but santa anita has thrown away the series like it was yesterday's trash and it is embarrassing. it went from being a grade 1 10 furlong 500k final leg of the 4 yr. old champion series to be nothing more then an overnight stakes afterthought at a mile and a sixteenth. it makes no sense. hell now they are even running it before the san Fernando!! wtf? santa anita should be ashamed of themselves for throwing away the historic importance of this race.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The San Fernando was discontinued. It is done. Hard to believe the San Fernando was a grade 1 for a few years itself. The list of what used to be major stakes races in Cali that have seen its purses drastically reduced and it's grading lowered is too long.
Israel Hernandez More than 1 year ago
Shakin looked pretty darn good over that track this evening.... Can't wait to see where he goes next?